What exactly is the function of a strata manager? Under a service contract, it’s usually their responsibility to deal with matters relating to shared residential property owned by all the building residents, including pools, common areas of the property, and other amenities. Strata management companies offer a range of services to suit all needs of property owners. As well as maintenance and capital improvements, they also undertake repair works in areas where the resident’s wishes are not met. The strata board will often hire them to inspect the building and report back to them on problems found. In most instances, the strata board will refer the matter to the management company for further action.
As well as maintenance issues, many owners of apartment buildings require emergency services. Strata Managers will often have a duty of care to call in assistance when needed without the resident ever being notified of their need. Many companies will supply a 24-hour safety or emergency telephone number. Many apartments are equipped with on-site fire fighting equipment that may be needed in a fire.
It is usual for a strata property manager to belong to the association of apartment buildings where he/she works. They will collect fees from the residents, which go towards the common property fund. These funds are used to maintain and improve common areas, pay for repairs and upgrades and pay for everyday utility bills. Any surplus funds are invested in other investments. Many property managers earn a percentage of the money that is kept in the common property fund.
Tenant relations can become strained when tenants begin to feel neglected by the strata management firm. Tenants may feel that they are not receiving proper service because they have not been registered or are unfairly selected for subletting or repairs. Many property managers have a no-till date agreed with the property occupants. This ensures that no tenant shall occupy the premises until all utilities, repairs, and renovations are complete.
An additional key role for the strata manager is to ensure that all homeowners and tenants meet all of their obligations, including those related to the common property. This includes making sure that there are no complaints about roof conditions, plumbing issues, or other major issues. The strata manager is also responsible for making sure that there are no issues that would affect the safety and comfort of the homeowners and tenants. This includes inspecting rooms to ensure no damage to personal items such as furniture and bedding.
The strata manager is also responsible for ensuring that the building or housing scheme complies with the Health and Safety Act. All residents in the housing scheme or the property that is being managed must abide by this Act. This is a detailed checklist that must be adhered to ensure that the project adheres to the HSE requirements. If it does not comply, the owner’s corporation can fine the owners for not having it. The Health and Safety Executive will also be able to make changes to the strata management plan without consulting the owner’s corporation.
Some property managers take on a dual role, that of an owner as well as a tenant. This may be due to the financial benefits of being both a landlord and a property manager. Anyone considering this position must realize that they need to have a good background in law and finance. Property managers need to have a good understanding of how the laws of strata contracts work. They also need to understand how the Act works to give their tenants advice about specific rules and regulations related to the strata contracts. Having these background skills ensures that the strata manager has a solid grasp of what is required.